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Winter’s unrepentantly dry, cold air can force even the oiliest-skinned among us to confront dry, flaky, irritated faces. And when all the serums and moisturizers in the world couldn’t help me from looking like Mother Nature had taken a Microplane to my cheeks and the area under my chin, I started looking for ways to augment the rest of my routine. And fortunately, a friend I trust recommended Prequel’s Gleanser.
That’s not a typo, but a portmanteau. The Gleanser is so named because this cleanser has a high proportion of glycerin, a deeply moisturizing ingredient that helps skin pull water from the air and keep it there, bolstering barrier function and protecting the skin from a range of environmental stressors. Prequel uses 50 percent glycerin in this formula, which is remarkable—most cleansers (and in fact most skincare products period) are mostly water.
Using the Gleanser has helped me cut down on dryness and flakiness, even when I’m using high-powered actives such as Vitamin C and retinol, which are infamous for causing irritation. Its makers claim that washing your face with it twice a day can help the skin retain more moisture for up to 24 hours. I’m not sure whether that’s true, but I do know that after about a week of using it, I saw fewer signs of dry skin staring back at me in the mirror.
But a word of caution: This product, which is blessedly unscented, can be tricky to emulsify the first few times you use it. I found myself experimenting with amounts of Gleanser and water to find the right balance. Too little water and the resulting foam has a gluey, tacky texture that’s not pleasant to rub against your face. Too much and you don’t get as much of a benefit from the titular ingredient. So long as you’re willing to find the right balance, though, you’ll be rewarded with supple skin all winter long.
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